As old as the written word itself, writers’ block – that fog of paralysing disquiet – has always troubled the great and the good. From Hemingway to Tolstoy to Woolf, they all came down with it at some point. That prolific producer of enormous books himself, Stephen King, once said that the “scariest moment is always just before you start [writing]. After that, things can only get better.”And he’s right. But it’s not always easy.
Susanna of A Modern Mother says: “Take a TOTAL break, and come back with fresh eyes/ new energy. Put pen to paper and just keep writing, without lifting your pen, paying no attention to what you write. Eventually something good comes out of it.”
Crystal Jigsaw recommends punishment to kick you up the bum: “Do the ironing, clean the bathroom, hoover all through the house – believe me, after an hour of house work, your writer’s block will definitely be cured!”
Nickie @ Typecast has a no-nonsense fail safe: “Walk away. Completely away.”
Joanne Mallon, an experienced freelance journalist, life and career coach, recommends doing something physical. “Exercise, go for a walk, take a shower, make a cake or knead some dough.
“If you switch your focus to what you’re doing rather than what you’re thinking, it gives the mind space to create something new.”
Joanne points out that writers’ block is often more prevalent when there is no deadline, and she has put together an excellent post on getting the words to flow again.
Which techniques work best for you? Has anyone ever imposed their own deadline, just to see if it helps, and what’s the longest a spell of writers block has lasted? How did you eventually slay that dragon?